Takes No-Hitter Into 6th, Tigers Stop Royals
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[May 05, 2014]
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Right-hander
Justin Verlander did not get his third career no-hitter, but the Detroit
Tigers got their fifth straight victory.
Verlander flirted with a no-hitter and right-fielder Torii Hunter
stroked three hits and drove in three runs as the Tigers beat the
Kansas City Royals 9-4 on Sunday to sweep the series.
The Tigers have won seven of eight and lead the American League
Central by 4 1/2 games.
"Anytime you have a sweep it's disheartening," Royals manager Ned
Yost said. "We were unfortunate to catch them really, really hot.
Next time maybe we'll be hot.
"Verlander pitched like Verlander. He was changing speeds, had a
good fastball when he needed it, took a no-hitter into the sixth."
Verlander did not allow a hit until Billy Butler's two-out single in
the sixth. Verlander (4-1) left after seven innings, giving up three
runs on four hits and four walks.
"I'm glad I'm managing him and not against him," Tigers manager Brad
Ausmus said of Verlander. "There was not much not to like about this
Ausmus said it "did cross his mind" that Verlander had a no-hitter
The Royals, who lost all five games against the Tigers this year,
scored three runs off Verlander in the seventh. Center fielder
Jarrod Dyson had a two-run triple and scored on a sacrifice fly.
"I think in the sixth inning I saw this guy had no hits," Hunter
said. "We tried to get every ball that was hit out there. He pitched
a great game, had those guys off balance. That slider today was
really working. Usually these guys hit him pretty well, but today
Hunter extended his hitting streak to 11 games and is hitting .408
in that span.
Verlander is 4-0 in his past five starts.
"As a starting pitcher you always love to see your guys go out there
and put up a bunch of runs," Verlander said. "It makes my job and
other guys jobs a lot easier. This is the way we're expecting to
play baseball. We can do a lot of little things and we can also
The Royals lost for the first time in 15 games this season when they
scored at least four runs.
Catcher Alex Avila homered with center fielder Austin Jackson aboard
in the fifth to push the Tigers' lead to 7-0.
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After Royals left-hander Jason Vargas retired the first two batters
in the fourth, the Tigers bashed four consecutive hits for three
runs to hike their lead to 5-0. First baseman Miguel Cabrera's
two-run double was the big blow of the inning. Second baseman Ian
Kinsler's infield single scored shortstop Andrew Romine with the
first run of the inning.
Right fielder Torii Hunter's two-out run-producing single in the
third scored center fielder Rajai Davis, who led off the inning with
a double. Hunter extended his hitting streak to 11 games.
Rookie third baseman Nick Castellanos homered to left in the second
inning for the first Tigers run. He leads Detroit with 18 RBIs.
Vargas was pulled after five innings, surrendering seven runs on 11
hits, including two home runs.
"There's nothing you can change about it," Royals first baseman Eric
Hosmer said of being swept at home. "We got beat in every aspect of
the game. Now we'll go to San Diego and start a new series, and
bounce back. The best part is that it's still so early (in the
season). Obviously, division games you don't want to take a sweep."
NOTES: The Royals activated LHP Tim Collins, who had been on the
disabled list with a left flexor strain, and optioned RHP Aaron
Brooks to Triple-A Omaha. ... Tigers LHP Phil Coke's ERA has soared
to 9.39 after allowing two runs on three hits in the ninth inning
Saturday. Opponents are hitting .382 off Coke in eight relief
appearances. ... Tigers RHP Joba Chamberlain struck out 11 in 9 1/3
innings in his past 11 outings.
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